Elche 7.25, Draw 3.75, Atletico Madrid 1.55 – Saturday 15.00 GMT
La Liga's weekend fixtures kick off with third placed Atletico Madrid at struggling Elche on Saturday afternoon.
Atletico’s away form has not been great so far this season - their last four trips have brought defeats at Valencia and Real Sociedad, and quite fortunate 1-0 victories at Almeria and Getafe.
Away midweek in the Copa del Rey a much-changed side did beat third-tier L’Hospitalet, with Antoine Griezmann again among the goals, and Gabi [penalty] and little-used midfielder Cebolla Rodriguez [long range screamer] also on the scoresheet.
That game was played amid the fall-out to the pre-organised fight between Atletico’s ultras and counterparts from Deportivo La Coruna before last Sunday’s game. However coach Diego Simeone however keeps his squad well isolated from off-field events, so no distraction is likely around Saturday’s game.
Left-back Cristian Ansaldi picked up a knee injury in the Copa game, so Guilherme Siqueira should come back in. Summer signing Alessio Cerci impressed when finally getting his first start at L’Hospitalet, but the Italian will likely be back on the bench.
Elche come into the game 18th in the table, after losing 3-0 in La Liga at Real Sociedad last weekend, and then drawing 0-0 in the Copa del Rey at second division Valladolid on Tuesday night.
They’ve also lost at home to Eibar, Celta Vigo and Sevilla already this season, and serious financial issues remain a factor in what looks sure to be a long battle against the drop. The only bright spot has been displays of on-loan Brazilian centre-forward Jonathas, who has scored six in 12 in La Liga, but elsewhere in the team goals are in very short supply.
So Atletico’s away form is not great - but they should still be able to eke out another narrow win here.
Predicted result: Elche 0-2 Atletico at 6.50
Best bet: Away team to win without conceding a goal 2.10
Real Madrid 1.10, Draw 11.00, Celta Vigo 20.00 - Saturday 19.00 GMT
The apparently unstoppable winning machine that is Real Madrid is back at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu looking to extend its club record of victories to 18 in all competitions.
A team featuring a sprinkling of youngsters had no problems rolling over third-tier Cornella 5-0 on Tuesday night in the Copa del Rey - with senior stars James Rodriguez [two] and Isco netting, and young attacker Jese Rodriguez scoring in his first game back after nine months out injured.
With Ancelotti not really resting any of his galacticos, many pundits keep expecting tiredness to catch-up on the side, but the wins keep coming. Isco sits this one out due to his sending off for two bookings in last weekend’s actually pretty-tight 2-1 win at Malaga, a game which saw Cristiano Ronaldo not on the scoresheet for the first time in La Liga in 2014/15. That seems likely to just be a temporary aberration however.
Jese is unlikely to feature here, with Asier Illarramendi tipped to take Isco’s place in midfield. Elsewhere Ancelotti should play all his big-guns, knowing that with his side already qualified as group winners he can use Wednesday’s Champions League game at home to Ludogorets to rotate again.
Celta’s away record is actually pretty phenomenal this season - they won at Barcelona’s Camp Nou, and also came from behind to get a point at both Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao. The Galician side’s form has slumped since that Camp Nou win however, and Tuesday’s 2-1 Copa defeat at high-flying Segunda side Las Palmas was their third defeat on the bounce. Their cause is also not helped by regular winger Fabian Orellana struggling with a shoulder injury.
So another Celta storming of a big team’s citadel looks less likely this time around, but they probably won't get hammered.
Predicted result: Real Madrid 2-0 Celta Vigo at 10.00
Best bet: Total goals under 4.5 at 1.68